The In-Cider’s guide

It’s been so long since we’ve done a cider tasting! Luckily, we had a little free reign in the summer tasting schedule (including all the names, the puns in half which you can credit yours truly… or not, either way, because I am personally ashamed.).

Cider is growing in popularity for a number of reasons, the biggest of which being the growing brewing/wine making/distilling scene, and the fact that cider is naturally gluten-free (with the growing awareness of Celiac disease). So it was high time we hosted another tasting of some of the wonderful apple ciders available in our rich province – pun or no. Peasant Cheese provided some very suitable cheese accompaniments for our amazing lineup. The ciders we tasted our way through were as follows:

Left Field Little Dry: Little Dry is a very lightly sweet, crisp BC cider from Logan Lake. Tart apple tones with a big fruity nose with just a hint of sweet apple flesh. Still dry enough for those who dislike sweet ciders. ( $10.79 for a 500mL bottle)

Bigoude Cidre Artisanal: Cider in Brittany has a certification of AOC. As part of the designation, the ciders are able to be made with 7 different apple varieties and fermented with 100% pure juice, along with natural carbonation. Bigoude has a lovely barnyard-y flavour with huge apple and funky aromatics and a lively effervescence. ($13.89 for a 750mL bottle)

Petritegi Sidra Natural: Everything about the Basque region screams artisan, unique and quality. Petritegi is a wonderful example of what a Basque Sidra can be. Funky, slightly bitter with a hint of sweetness, this mostly still cider is poured from high above a glass thanks to the provided cork/spout. One taste and you’ll see that it was meant for celebrating, and breakfast, and lunch… and dinner… and whenever! ($22.49 for a 750mL bottle)

Scenic Road Nearly Dry: Coming from Kelowna, Scenic Road is a recent arrival to the Alberta market. Their mostly dry and tasty ciders and made with “traditional apple varieties” and come across with robust apple flavours and the nearly dry has -as the name would suggest- just a hint of sweetness. ($11.49 for a 500mL bottle)

Sea Cider Pippins: A lovely, off-dry cider made with Yellow Newton Pippin apples. It pours with lovely tropical fruit aromas, and the taste says the same! Light pineapple and exotic apple notes, with a bit of an alcohol bite thanks to the 9.5% abv. Food friendly and guzzle friendly alike! ($21.99 for a 750mL bottle)

Sea Cider Rum Runner: This sweet and incredibly unique cider used to be aged in the barrels of a well-known Newfoundland rum, but that rum is no longer aged in oak barrels. What were they to do to keep up with the demand of one of their most beloved ciders? Soaking readily-available ex-bourbon barrels in rum solved that problem! Hints of dried fruit, molasses and a hint of whisky enhance the sweetness, giving a mix between a dessert and an aperitif feel, and this is further enhanced by the 12.5% abv. ($21.99 for a 750mL bottle)

After all these tasty beverages, it was hard to pick a favourite. But pick one we did! And it was Sea Cider’s pippins. The second and third place came Bigoud Cidra Breton and Sea Cider Rum Runner. I can’t say that I’m totally surprised, Sea Cider has been a beloved maker for so long, and Brittany ciders are just so unique!

So there you have it! Thanks to everyone who came out, and thanks again to Peasant Cheese for all the tasty goodies! Our cider selection is always changing, so make sure to check in, and if you have a request for something in particular, just drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do!

Until next time,
Cheers!

-Shawn
beerguy@kensingtonwinemarket.com
Twitter: @ShawnsBrewsCGY

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